Author's notes: This is a cross-over between 'Spooks' and 'Wire in the Blood.' I realise it's far-fetched, so please forgive me. I'm in Australia so the 6th season of 'Spooks' hasn't aired yet so I imagine there will be a great deal missing. Just consider the story to be AU.
I hope you enjoy. Please review; it's wonderful incentive to continue.
Disclaimer: I do not own 'Wire in the Blood' or 'Spooks.'
Chapter 1: The End of Carol Jordan
MARCH 5 2008
Ros Myers slammed her foot hard against the accelerator as she weaved through the streets of London. She yanked the steering wheel to the right and smelt rubber burn as she screeched the car to a halt.
"Ros!" Adam Carter said from next to her. "They've gone down the alley. Stop here."
She slammed on the brakes and both she and Adam jumped out of the car and sprinted after the two men who had roughly a 100 foot lead on them. She pointed the remote control key at the car and vaguely heard the locks click as she and Adam ran down the alley. Though she was shorter than Adam, the two ran at the same speed and were closing in the two. Adam's breathing was becoming laboured, not surprising in someone who'd had fairly recent heart surgery and he began to fall back. Ros didn't slow down, instead increasing her pace, though she was forced to roll onto the ground when one of the men fired a shot at her. She was on her feet almost immediately and was preparing to fire her own gun when a 'bang' sounded from behind her. The bullet passed her, hitting the leg of one of the running men. The other turned to look over his shoulder and she could see his eyes widen in panic. Picking up her pace, she started making ground on him and was eventually a mere six feet behind. He reached for his own gun and Ros leapt forward and tackled him to the ground. The two rolled over the ground, each battling for the upper hand, but Ros managed to pin him down and pressed her gun under his chin.
"Get up!" she spat, pulling him up with a strength that belied her slight frame.
She hauled him back down the alley to where Adam was. He had the other man's arm draped around his neck. Blood stained the man's trouser leg, and some dripped onto the pavement. Ros rolled her eyes but said nothing and continued to push her prisoner back to the car. She unlocked it with a click of a button and shoved him unceremoniously into the back seat. She leant against the door whilst Adam hauled the other man to the car. She opened the door and Adam pushed him inside.
"They need medical treatment," Ros said, rounding the vehicle. "Well, yours does," she amended.
She softened her words with a smile which Adam returned as he hopped in beside her and did his seatbelt. They drove at a much more sedate pace to Thames House where there were sufficient medical supplies to see to a superficial flesh wound. Ros flashed her ID and they made their way to the nearest place of entry.
Ron smirked at Adam. "How annoyed will Harry be if we take his parking spot?"
Adam shook his head in amusement. "He'll be fine, I imagine."
Ros said nothing as she opened her door and walked toward the doors. She turned before she began up the stairs.
"It won't matter to me," she called at Adam. He looked up in confusion but caught the keys she threw at him. "It's your car, not mine."
Adam laughed and Ros hurried inside. She called Harry on her mobile.
"Harry, it's Ros," she said as she began walking up the stairs. "We've got them but we need some medics. We have a flesh wound."
She could almost see Harry rolling his eyes. "I'll send two down, now."
He hung up the phone and Ros pocketed her mobile and continued walking. She reached the sixth floor, which housed Section D and swiped her ID. Jo glanced up as she entered and gave a perfunctory smile, which Ros returned to a degree. The two women would never be friends; Ros found Jo to be insipid and at times idiotic whilst she imagined that Jo viewed her as the bitch from hell. Ros walked to her desk but looked down at her clothing before she sat. As she'd suspected, there was blood on the cuff on her jeans. Adam walked in then, and she had to smile. Where she had a small amount of blood on her jeans, Adam's shirt and trousers were spattered with it.
"Adam, what happened?" Jo asked urgently.
"It's not his," Ros answered.
She sounded harsher than she meant to and held up an apologetic hand. "Sorry," she said, to both Adam and Jo; the latter who looked to be quite offended. "I'm sorry."
Neither said anything as she hurried to the conference room and shut the door behind her. There was a meeting in five minutes so her being here wouldn't be thought of as 'odd.' She shoved her hands deep into her pockets as she paced before the window. Ros knew she shouldn't be feeling so damned sad but, despite all her assertions to the contrary, a part of her would always be 'Carol Jordan' and she felt dreadful that her team believed she was dead.
She looked over her shoulder at Adam who had entered so quietly she hadn't heard him. She ran a hand through her hair, trying to regain her composure. He moved behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Ros? Is anything wrong?"
She shook her head. "No," she said, turning and walking around Adam to sit down at the table. Harry had called her and Adam for a meeting, and was running a few minutes late, which in itself was unusual. Most likely the two of them would be sent on some sort of mission that even the rest of the team couldn't know about. It was odd, she thought as she drummed her fingers lightly against the table, that she had been accepted so readily into the team. She was good officer, yes, but after the debacle with her father... she was surprised any of the security forces would touch her. "No," she repeated, when she looked up to find Adam with a sceptical expression on his face. "It's just... my old team, police team in CID would have found out I was 'dead', today."
"Ah," Adam said, sitting down next to her.
The two sat in a companionable silence, for which Ros was grateful. She and Adam had a certain connection now, after the disaster at the Thames. It had made her realise that despite all the work she did, all it took was one command and her life would end and be called 'collateral damage'.
"Adam, Ros," Harry greeted as he entered, jolting her to the present. He was holding numerous documents under his arm which he halved and gave to Ros and Adam.
Ros flicked through them, her lips pursed. "So this man, Hancock, is landing in London tomorrow, presumably on a fake passport?"
"Yes," Harry answered. He reached for one of Adam's documents and held up a photo. "We think he's after this man, Senent. Senent took a number of samples from an American laboratory. Now, we don't know what these samples are, but if Americans are going to these lengths to retrieve them, then they must be either extremely expensive or extremely dangerous."
"Or both," Ros interjected.
"Or both," Harry agreed. "I want you two to try and find both Hancock and Senent before things get nasty." He rose to his feet and nodded toward them both. "This needs to be handled carefully. No one but you two and myself even know that Hancock is planning on entering the country. I want it to stay that way."
He left them in the conference room and they poured over the files. Ros mentally ran through the conversation in her head, more than-grateful for her ability to remember conversations word for word.
"Okay," Adam said, looking at her. "We need a way to find out Hancock's passport name..."
"People need their passport to check out their luggage now," Ros said.
"That's true; if one of us can get in there..." He walked out of the room only to come back in a moment later with his lap top. "I'll pull out a list of airport employees..." He typed in the necessary passwords and overwrites and Ros briefly wondered how the British public would feel if they knew their details could be pulled up with a few keystrokes. "Now, let's wait and see if one of us could..."
"We could just watch the luggage area," Ros pointed out as faces began to flash over the screen. "But he might not even carry luggage."
"True," Adam conceded. "We'll still make ourselves some fake IDs."
Ros smirked. "Of course, I would expect nothing else."
Adam laughed as he closed the laptop. "C'mon," he said, ignoring her sarcasm. "We need to go."
The two stood and Adam placed a guiding hand on the small of her back as he ushered her from the room. It was highly unnecessary, but comforting nevertheless. Jo's eyes narrowed as they walked past and Ros suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. It seemed the young trainee field agent had taken a fancy to Adam. Well, it wasn't Ros's concern if she had a bit of a crush; she only hoped that Adam would let her down gently. Adam and herself grabbed their coats, and Adam buttoned his up tightly to hide the blood stain in the centre of his shirt.
"I'll drive you home," Ros said as they made their way to the car park. "There's blood on the back seat. I can't imagine you want Wes seeing that."
Adam conceded her point by shrugging his shoulders and stepped into her car, a black Lexus paid for by MI5. They drove silently down the London streets, toward Adam's apartment, but when he turned toward her, Ros knew that silence would be broken.
"Ros," Adam said quietly. "I know that you must be taking this pretty hard. You were Carol Jordan for years."
Ros straightened her back and looked steadfastly before her, pretending to be completely absorbed with the traffic.
"Ros," Adam tried again.
She shook her head sharply, indicating this particular conversation was over and Adam looked out the window, letting her be. Evening had fallen, and the London sky was tinged with shades of red and orange. If she didn't have a certain aversion to the Thames, she would have thought the light dancing over the water was beautiful.
"Here we are," Ros said, pulling up outside Adam's building.
He didn't move. "Come inside for a while," he said. "We could go over these plans. It would save time tomorrow."
Ros, whose mouth had opened to refuse, closed it again. She couldn't deny that it was a sensible idea so she nodded. The two exited the car and Adam again led her through the various corridors, even though she knew the way from her previous visit. She frowned to herself; her previous visit where her sole purpose was to gather information for a father who now sat in a prison cell. Adam opened the door to the flat and she headed for the kitchen and leant against the granite-topped bench. Adam, who held the files, placed them next to her and opened the fridge, withdrawing a bottle of white wine.
Ros nodded and he took out two glasses. After filling them both, he handed one to her and gestured toward the files beside her.
She followed him to the table and sat down opposite.
"I thought we would get to the airport early," he said, leaning back in his chair. "And make ourselves some fake IDs. That shouldn't be too difficult. What flight is Hancock on?"
"Ten o'clock from New York," Ros answered. "Passports are being scanned in the states; if we hack into the database then we can track him much easier. That would begin to leave a paper trail. Malcolm has developed a program that allows this; all we need is any computer terminal in the Heathrow."
"Okay, so we position ourselves around the point he enters; it should be relatively simple to track him from there."
Ros snorted derisively. "This man is a trained professional, Adam," she said, taking a sip of wine. "We'll need our wits about us."
"Of course," Adam conceded. "You're right. But that is the basic plan, yes?"
"That's the basic plan," Ros affirmed.
She stared into her glass and swirled the wine around, not paying any further attention to her surroundings.
"Ros?" Adam said, breaking her thoughts. "You're taking this much harder than I expected. You haven't been in Bradfield for eighteen months..."
Ros's eyes snapped to his. "It means I can never go back," she said sharply. "I liked being Carol Jordan, Adam. She was a good woman. God knows how you'd describe me."
"She had a good case record," Adam said shrewdly. "I researched you when you first came to the team, and had a look at 'Carol Jordan'. Quite a few serial killers you got off the street."
She sighed and folded her arms across her chest. "I had help," she said heavily.
Ros's eyes narrowed. "How much research did you do?" she asked.
Adam shrugged. "Enough. I'm curious though, Ros. There were a number of cases where you could have caught them earlier, using MI6 contacts etc.; but you didn't. That last case of yours, the Bradfield sniper, you knew who he was a fortnight before you officially caught him."
Ros nodded. "It wouldn't pay to seem too good, Adam. People start asking questions, where you got the information from, how did you get it. I couldn't exactly say that I had a network of MI6 officers working for and with me."
"So you let people die."
"Yes," Ros answered immediately. "I obeyed orders. During that time I wasn't as highly ranked as I am now. My superiors didn't value my opinion."
"And Tony Hill? You let him take a lot of credit."
"I did," Ros agreed. "It was easier."
"And you wanted a relationship with him, and he with you; but neither of you did anything about it. Right?"
Ros paused before answering. "If you'd asked me that eighteen months ago, I would have agreed. But in hindsight... I was a specimen to him, someone to study. Kevin and Don, two of my sergeants, I think they cared about me more than he did."
Ros sighed. "We were investigating a murderer who began to correspond with me; he found out where I lived and sent a letter, etc. It was Don who followed me home to see if I got there all right, not Tony. Another time, a man had rigged a fertility clinic to explode; I got Tony out of there, but it was Kevin who grabbed me and used his body to shield me from the explosion, whilst Tony just walked away."
"They sound like they had crushes on you," Adam said smirking.
"They probably did. Now, that's enough chit chat." She rose to her feet and walked toward the door. "I'll pick you up at six," she said, reaching for the lock.
"Did you love him? Tony Hill?" Adam asked.
Ros looked back over her shoulder, eyes narrowed. "I hardly think that's any of your business."
"So, that's a 'yes' then?"
Ros didn't answer instead flicking her long blonde hair over her shoulder. Adam crossed the room quickly and manoeuvred himself so he was between her and the door. "I'm sorry," he said, holding up his hands. "I really am."
Ros glared at him for several prolonged moments before turning about sharply and heading back to the table where she flung herself down and crossed her legs. She picked up her wine and watched Adam angrily as he made his way back to the table.
"I am sorry," he repeated. "I guess I'm just nosy."
Ros's mouth twitched in spite of herself, remembering when she said those same words.
"Sorry, I'm nosy. Part of my job description."
"Look, Ros," Adam said, leaning forward. "I've been undercover, I know how difficult it is to let go."
"No, you don't," Ros said through clenched teeth. "I was undercover for five years. Five years I spent siphoning information off to MI6. Five years I spent living as someone else."
"Why such a long operation?" Adam asked.
Ros sighed. "There was no real intelligence in Bradfield when I went in. They thought that a police officer would be able to gather information, not to mention find out if there were any terrorist suspects. If I thought there were, I could pass that on to my superiors. Then they decided to pull me out."
She shrugged in an attempt at nonchalance and took another – larger – sip of wine.
Adam tilted his head to one side. "Was Carol Jordan this defensive?"
Ros laughed shortly. "Oh, yes. She had quite the sharp tongue. Just ask any member of the press."
"Part of you must be glad that you don't have to pretend anymore, though," Adam said. "It must have been exhausting, being someone else twenty four hours a day."
Ros smiled, one of her enigmatic smiles that infuriated people as they never knew if they were from amusement or disdain. "Are you psychoanalysing me, Mr Carter?"
Adam looked down, beaten at his own game. "I don't think that's possible, Ros. I saw your psychological profile tape. I felt sorry for Dr Morgan."
"So did I," Ros countered. "You ran her quite the large circle."
"You asked Malcolm to let you view the file, didn't you?" Adam asked, grinning.
"The same as you, apparently," Ros answered, also smiling. She stood and handed Adam her empty wine glass. "I should go," she said.
Ros crossed the room and as she reached for the handle, the door opened. She stepped back quickly to avoid being hit, demonstrating her almost uncanny reflexes and glared at Jenny who had clapped a hand across her mouth.
"I'm sorry," she said urgently. "I really am."
Jenny peered over Ros's shoulder and Adam watched as she took in the two empty wine glasses he was holding and the hurriedly put-together files. She dropped her hand and glared at Ros who now looked thoroughly amused.
"Six o'clock, Adam," Ros called. "Don't be late."
She went to side-step around Jenny but Wes looked out from behind Jenny's leg.
Ros inclined her head toward him. "Hello."
"You've been here before," Wes continued, looking up at Ros.
"I have been, yes."
"Do you work with Daddy?"
Ros looked to Adam. "I do," she answered. "You're very like him...inquisitive."
Adam bit the inside of his cheeks to prevent him from smiling; inquisitive was a much nicer word than 'nosy.' Ros smiled a goodbye to all of them and left the flat in a swirl of heavy, black fabric. Jenny turned to Adam and closed the door behind her with a muffled 'bang.'
"Who is she?" Jenny demanded as Adam went to the kitchen and rinsed the two wine glasses in the sink.
He wiped away Ros's lipstick, a soft pink today, from the rim as he answered. "A field agent."
"Like me," Adam said, turning to lean against the bench.
Jenny looked down at Wes who was watching their conversation with wide eyes. "Go and brush your teeth and then go to bed," she said gently. "Daddy and I will tuck you in."
Wes sensed that it was not wise to protest and went to the bathroom obediently. Now alone, Jenny looked to Adam, with the clear message of 'explain.'
"Is she good?" she asked, jutting her chin forward slightly.
Adam was taken aback by Jenny's reaction. She had no need to feel threatened by Ros who probably had as much inclination to start a relationship with him as Harry did.
"Ros is an excellent field officer. One of the best," he answered slowly. "I can't tell you more than that, Jenny," he said, cutting her off before she could ask the question that was already forming on her lips. "You know that."
Jenny nodded. "I do; it doesn't mean I have to like it."
She walked quickly to Wes's bedroom; Adam followed and the two sat down to read him a story. It would look like a normal domestic scene, he realised as he turned a page - it was quite amazing just how deceiving appearances could be.
Tony Hill shook his head, sending droplets of water flying through the air. Rain was pouring down outside and he shivered slightly as he walked through the air conditioned police station, which was always turned down far too low. He held his blue bag loosely at his side and swung it onto the nearest desk when he entered the Murder Investigation Unit. He glanced up and immediately knew that something was wrong. Paula, Kevin and Don were all standing close together, Paula leaning against Kevin's desk, with their heads bowed. Paula's eyes were tinged red from recent tears and both Kevin and Don looked as if they were ready to cry at any moment. They glanced up when they heard him come into the room but immediately looked downward again.
"Paula, Kev, Don?" Tony asked, moving further into the room. "What's wrong?"
None of the three answered, Kevin looking upward at the ceiling and blinking rapidly. Becoming increasingly annoyed at their lack of communication, Tony's eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth to speak, to demand that tell they him what had made them so forlorn, when Alex Fielding's voice rang out behind him.
"Tony," she called from her desk. "I think it's best that you come in here."
Giving the other three officers a puzzled look, Tony nevertheless obeyed Alex and grabbed his blue bag before going inside her office.
"I think I've got something on that Mortley case," Tony said, withdrawing a sheaf of papers from the bag, all scrawled upon. "If you want..."
"Tony," Alex interrupted, holding up a hand. "Just be quiet and sit down."
Surprised at her formal tone, Tony sat down on the chair across from Alex's desk and folded his hands in his lap.
"Tony, you obviously haven't heard," the brown-haired woman said, her dark eyes focusing on his.
"Heard what?" Tony asked, becoming increasingly annoyed.
"It's about Carol Jordan," Alex answered, biting her bottom lip.
Tony noted the choked sound of Alex's voice and hoped to god he was wrong about what had made her upset. She hadn't even known Carol, so the only thing that could make her this way was if...
"What about Carol?" Tony asked, dismissing that line of thought.
Alex didn't say anything for a while until: "She's dead, Tony."
He felt time stand still and the seconds felt like hours, days, before he could respond. He looked at her blankly, refusing to believe her. "No," he said finally. "There must be some mistake..."
"No, Tony," Alex said, shaking her head. "I'm afraid not."
He took a steadying breath and closed his eyes, willing the past thirty seconds away. "How?" he said finally. "How did she...?"
"A car crash," Alex said heavily. "I'm not certain of the details..."
Tony leant back in his chair, the tendons of his neck constricted as he willed himself to calm down. "She's dead?" he whispered. "God, no."
Alex said nothing and did not try to stop him as he walked from her office, not caring that he left his bag behind. Kevin, Paula and Don all looked up as he re-entered the room. Paula's eyes met his and she gave a straggled sob and held a hand over her eyes in a futile attempt to hold back tears. Kevin, in an odd show of tact, placed a comforting hand on her shoulder whilst Don, who stood at her other side, leant down so they were eye level and said something. Whatever it was, it made her smile and she ran her hand through her hair and took a deep breath.
"Alex told you?" Paula said, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.
Tony nodded mutely. He could not quite believe the amount of pain he was feeling; it was like a part of him had been ripped out, leaving an open wound. He had known that he cared about Carol, much more than in a professional sense, but this... this was unexpected. Tony walked past the trio, unable to say anything, and they didn't try and follow. All had been around him long enough to know that he was best left alone; this time was no exception. Tony walked through the police station without quite realising where he was going. He bumped into several people, but didn't wait to apologise. He set off toward home but quickly changed direction. Carol had come to his house often; she'd even bought him the coffee machine which took centre stage on his kitchen bench. He didn't think he could cope with seeing that now, not for a while at least.
He walked toward the university, in the hope he would be able to distract himself with paperwork. A pile of student essays sat on his desk, which had to be marked by next week; perhaps he could make a start on those. He nodded to himself; yes, that was the best thing he could do, distract himself. As he entered the university grounds, he heard students call him, no doubt to make an appointment to see him, but he ignored them all and made his way toward his office. He entered, grateful for its familiarity. A certain calm washed over him, but was quickly dispelled when he saw the mug on the corner of his desk. Yellow and blue, Carol had bought it for him after seeing that all his mugs were chipped with a warning; "Be careful with this one, for my sake."
"Oh, god, Carol..."
Tony collapsed onto his chair and leant forward, holding his head in his hands. After Carol had left for Johannesburg, he had felt hurt and betrayed, but he'd always thought she would come back eventually. It was that thought which enabled him to move forward, and to forge a friendship with Alex. He looked up and rested his arms upon his knees, feeling like the insecure schoolboy he had been over twenty years ago. Very soon after meeting Carol, the voice in the back of his head became hers. His conscience spoke with her satisfaction, her disapproval, her praise; and now knowing that she was gone forever made him feel completely lost. He sighed deeply but made no effort to move as his mind reeled back in time to many of the conversations he had had with Carol.
At the fish and ship shop, debating whether or not the serial killer could be female.
"You are joking."
"I'm a weed. You look fit, strong; I'll still win."
At his house, debating where or not a couple could be responsible for a spate of killings.
"What about us?"
"You said every relationship."
"That's a hard one."
"That's why I asked."
Joking after a case in her office.
"I need you."
"What, right now?"
"Is that really such a horrible prospect?"
"No, it's just that there's not much room on your desk."
Finally, less than half-an-hour ago, Alex's voice.
"She's dead, Tony."
"Tony? Tony, what's the matter?"
He looked upward to find Kate in the doorway of his office, holding files to her chest. She walked inside and rounded the desk to stand alongside him. She placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently.
She crouched down beside him and took his hand in hers. He turned to the side to find her eyes widened in concern. He knew this would be odd for her; it was usually him comforting people, not the other way around.
"She's dead, Kate," Tony whispered, hating saying the words out loud. It gave them that awful air of finality.
"Who's dead?" Kate asked. Her eyes lit with realisation, for she knew that only one person could make him react like this. "It's Carol isn't it?"
He nodded and Kate patted him on the back, unsure how to comfort him. Tony gripped her hand and pulled her toward him, holding her tightly. He'd never needed physical comfort, but now his fingers curled into the fabric of Kate's shirt and his breath hitched as he breathed erratically, almost to the point of hyperventilating. When he pulled back eventually, he looked away from Kate, immediately embarrassed.
"I'm sorry," he said softly. "It's just..."
His voice trailed off but Kate nodded in understanding.
"It's okay, Tony. I know how much she meant to you."
He blinked up at Kate, who had risen to her feet. "I wanted to take her to Paris..." he whispered. "I really did, but then she left..."
Kate said nothing and eventually he turned away from her, a not-so-subtle way of asking her to leave. He listened as Kate's footsteps faded away before rising to his feet. Immediately his eyes fell on the yellow and blue mug. "Be careful with this one; for my sake." Feeling an overwhelming sense of anger, he grabbed the mug from the desk and hurled it against the wall where it shattered into pieces.
There's no point in being careful, now.
Ros threw her black overcoat over one the dining room chairs and glanced about her house. It was bare and minimalist; the only real sign that the place was even occupied was the stacked dishwasher in the kitchen. She walked toward her bedroom and, more importantly, its adjoining bathroom. She shed clothes as she entered, her boots left at the doorway whilst her stockings and shift dress fell onto the floor near the bottom of her bed.
She stiffened and looked upward to find Malcolm perched on the edge of her bed. She glared at him angrily. "Jesus, Malcolm," she hissed. "Don't do that!"
Ros noticed he was blushing and remembered that she was only wearing underwear. Not that it should bother him overly much, he'd seen her half naked a few months ago. Taking pity on him, however, she reached for the robe she kept hooked on the edge of the bed and tied the sash around her waist.
"What is it, Malcolm?" she asked, unpinning her hair.
He swallowed before answering, obviously still slightly embarrassed. "Harry sent me over," he explained. "He said that you needed me."
"Did he now?" Ros said with sardonic smile. "How kind of him."
Her voice was laced with innuendo and Malcolm blushed even more and looked down again.
"He said that you might need to hack into the airport database and as I am the computer expert..."
"You gave me a program that does that," Ros interrupted. "Several months back."
Malcolm's eyebrows shot upward. "I'd forgotten." He stood and looked about the room, focussing on anything but her.
"Malcolm," Ros said gently. "It's far too late to be driving around. Stay here tonight. There is a perfectly good spare bedroom."
He shook his head. "No, I don't want to intrude. I'll call a taxi..."
Ros rolled her eyes and let her robe fall to the floor. She crossed to where she had left her shift dress and quickly stepped into it.
"I'll drive you," she said, motioning for him to follow. "Just do one thing for me."
Malcolm looked at her suspiciously.
"Can you do up the zip?"
He laughed and did what she asked. The two left her apartment together, and Ros unlocked the car and stepped inside, waiting for Malcolm to do the same. He did so, and she pulled out onto the road, driving carefully. She knew that Malcolm was not the most socially confident person she knew and was surprised when he struck up a conversation of his own initiative.
"Ros," he said softly. "How do you do it?"
Ros turned her head, her brow furrowed. "Do what?" she asked.
"The field work," Malcolm said. "I sit in the office and get jitters seeing what you do. It scares me to think what it's like out there, doing the operations."
She took her time answering, trying to find the right words. "You just do it, Malcolm," she answered finally. "I trained to be a field officer, and that's just what I do." She gave a small smile. "And I'm good at it; that knowledge helps."
Malcolm nodded in understanding. "I see. And you are good," he added. "One of the best I've worked with."
Ros was touched by his compliment and was, for once, lost for words.
"I heard that 'Carol Jordan' was announced as dead today," he said. "I'm sorry."
Ros shrugged one shoulder. "My job was complete; it had to be done."
Her voice, though still soft, carried a note of finality and Malcolm said nothing until they reached his street. "This is mine," he said, pointing at a terraced house.
She pulled into the driveway and Malcolm hopped out the car. He leant down to talk to her. "If you need anything, Ros, just call me."
Ros made shoo-ing movements and he walked to the front door. She made sure he was inside safely before reversing out and heading back home. Malcolm was very similar to Tony in many respects, which had been both a blessing and curse when she had started at MI5. It was a blessing when she was feeling unsure and would go and see him, mainly to regather her composure; and a curse when she missed her old life as Carol Jordan. Ros flicked her chair over her shoulder and tightened her hands on the steering wheel. She had to focus on the upcoming job, not reminisce about a completed operation. She nodded abruptly to herself as she turned into her street. Her house looked so inconspicuous, so benign; it would be interesting to know what the neighbours thought if they ever found out they lived next to a spy.
She drove into her driveway and searched for the front door key as she walked up the gravel path. Her eyes fell on the lock on the door and immediately her body tensed. It had been tampered with – expertly at that – but she was one of the best in the business and could see the faint marks on the brass. Ros reached into her coat and pulled out her gun which she held loosely by her side. She threw open the door and it rebounded off the wall. A hand grabbed her from behind and clapped against her mouth. He – well she presumed they were a 'he' – dragged her inside and tried to make her sit down but she struggled furiously until someone else pressed a gun into the small of her back. There were two men.
"Sit down, Ros," one of them said, pushing her toward the sofa.
She knew better than to argue with a gun and obeyed. Her fingers were still wrapped around her own gun, not that she let either of them know that.
"Peter Hancock," the man in front of her said. "What do you know about him?"
Ros glared at him. "I don't know a Peter Hancock."
A hand tangled itself in her hair and yanked her head back. She grimaced but didn't let the pain she felt show.
"Let's try again. What do you know about Peter Hancock?"
Ros didn't say anything and he walked over and slapped her hard across the face. As he made to step backward, she kicked out and hit his shins, causing him to grunt in pain. At the same time, she pulled the other man onto the floor with her but his greater weight was an advantage and he pinned her down and smiled as he held his gun to her chin.
"Bad mistake, Ros," he sneered.
She head butted him and heard his nose break. As he reeled back in pain, his comrade approached and pointed his gun at her. Ros reacted quickly and withdrew her own. They fired at the same time, but whilst his bullet only grazed her arm, hers hit him between the eyes and he fell down dead. She sat up and hit the other man across the head, sending him flying. As she leapt to her feet, he shot at her, and she missed that bullet by inches. Her reflexes were faster than his and she managed to fire three bullets; two into the chest and one in the head.
Now alone, with two bodies, Ros reached for her mobile and punched in Adam's number. He answered on the first ring.
She looked down at the bodies at her feet before saying anything. "Adam, I was ambushed when I got home. There are now two dead men on my living room floor."
Adam let out a groan. "Shit, Ros," he snapped. "Shit."
"Helpful," she said sarcastically. "Very helpful."
Adam clicked his tongue as he thought. "I'll call Harry; get him to remove the bodies. As for you, get some things together. You can stay at my flat."
He hung up and Ros stared down at her mobile. "Great," she said aloud. "I get to spend the night with a jealous nanny."
Rolling her eyes, she went into her bedroom and quickly threw a few things into a bag. Ros didn't want to be there when they arrived to collect the bodies. She sped through the streets of London and parked outside Adam's building. She tied the sash of her overcoat tightly around her waist, to hide the blood that had dried on her arm from her shoulder wound, and walked quickly to the flat. The door was unlocked and she closed it behind her and looked up to find Adam sitting on the sofa. His eyes widened when she took her overcoat off to reveal the bullet wound.
"Jesus, Ros," he said, rushing over and forcing her to hold her arm out.
"It's superficial," Ros snapped. "I'll shower and then bandage it up."
Adam led her to the bathroom. "There's towels and everything in there," he said, pointing inside. "Take as long as you need."
Ros gave him one of her trademark smiles, which after eight-or-so months he still couldn't read, and walked into the bathroom, closing the door gently behind her. He soon heard water running and sat down again. Trust this to happen to Ros, he thought, looking aimlessly around the living room. Only Ros could kill two men, have an injured shoulder, and still manage to appear her usual aloof self. The water stopped and Ros emerged, still drying her hair. Adam couldn't help it; he stared.
"Is everythingyou own a designer label, Ros?" he said, gesturing at the nightgown she wore.
Ros glanced down and shrugged. "I like to look good," she said simply, flicking her still wet hair over her shoulder.
She walked across and handed him a bandage. "Could you?" she asked, sitting next to him. "It's in an awkward place."
He nodded and began wrapping the fabric around her shoulder, careful not to put too much pressure on the wound.
"Did one of them hit you as well?" he asked, pointing at her cheek.
"I was slapped," Ros answered. "Quite hard; but it should only be a faint bruise. Nothing that make-up can't cover."
Adam laughed as he stood and held out a hand. "I'll show you where you'll sleep."
Ros leant back and raised an eyebrow. "You've only got three bedrooms, Adam," she said shrewdly. "I imagine that there's one for Wes, one for Jenny and one for you."
"You can sleep in mine," Adam said, pulling her up.
Ros sat back down. "I'm happy here."
Adam rolled his eyes, knowing he would never win this argument. He went to the linen cupboard and withdrew a blanket, which he threw at her. She caught it easily.
"Goodnight, Adam," she said, already lying down. "We'll wake up at five thirty."
Ros turned away from him and Adam looked at her for several moments before going to his bedroom. He stripped slowly and slid under the covers, acutely aware that she was falling asleep on his sofa, in his flat, in that nightgown. Adam rolled onto his side and shut his eyes firmly.
"Five thirty, you're waking up," he told himself, willing himself to sleep. "Five thirty."
Paula sat slumped at her desk, staring at the computer screen in front of her. She hadn't been able to concentrate at all that day, though she tried to hide this from Alex. Don and Kevin were in similar positions, though Don had his elbow on the table whilst he cupped his chin with his hand. Kevin was leaning back in his chair, staring aimlessly at the wall opposite.
"Sod this," Paula said finally.
She stood and grabbed her bag, swinging it over her shoulder.
"Where are you going?" Kevin and Don asked simultaneously.
"Somewhere other than here," Paula said, waving her hands around the room. "Everything in this damn place reminds me of Carol; even if she's been away for eighteen months. God, her bloody coffee mug is still here!"
She hurried out of CID before the tears could fall. Don ran after her, moving quickly for a man so big.
"Paula," he said, grabbing her shoulder. "Wait for us. Let's go to the pub."
She laughed despite the current circumstances. "When in doubt, go to the pub."
Don grinned. "Just give us a second."
Paula leant against the wall and less than a minute later herself, Kevin and Don were walking toward one of their favourite haunts; the pub around the corner from the police station. Paula ordered drinks whilst Kevin and Don found a table in the corner, where they wouldn't be disturbed.
"Here we are, luv."
She started as the barman pushed three beers toward her and she carried them precariously to the table. Kevin made room for her and Don raised his glass.
They all chinked their glasses together but soon fell silently, each lost in their own thoughts. Kevin stared down at the amber liquid; he and Carol had frequents disagreements, or 'spats' as Paula had dubbed them, but he had always held her in high regard. He had genuinely liked Carol, had harboured a crush on the blonde woman. He'd even kissed her once, after the 'Mack the Knife' catastrophe. She was suitably shaken after just escaping from an exploding building and he'd driven her to her loft apartment and insisted on walking her all the way. She hadn't protested and he had led her to the door of her home. They'd both stopped then, suddenly embarrassed and Carol had gone to put the key in the lock, but dropped them. Kevin had retrieved them and when she smiled her thanks, had kissed her. She responded briefly, but soon pushed him away and bid him a goodnight. The two had never spoken about it, for which he was grateful.
"I was so angry when I'd found out she'd gone to Johannesburg," Don said suddenly. "But she wrote to me at least, saying goodbye."
Kevin and Paula nodded.
"She wrote to me, too," Kevin said, not adding that he kept the letter hidden from his girlfriend.
There were some things that he would never share; and the fact he'd had a crush on the 'boss' was one of them. He looked over at Don, who sat hunched over his beer. Carol and Don were good friends, and he knew that the Detective Sergeant would find her death hard to deal with. It had often been Don who she'd conducted interviews with; the two trusting the other enough to know which technique to use. Good cop/bad cop; who would play the good cop, who would play the bad cop. Would they be sympathetic, unsympathetic, downright rude; the list of options went on and on.
"I wonder how Tony is," Paula said. "He'll be taking it pretty hard."
Don rolled his eyes; it was common knowledge that he had little time for the forensic psychologist. "He'll look up a book on how he's meant to react," he said, drumming his fingers against the table.
"Don," Paula chided. "Don't say that."
He rolled his eyes again, but said nothing further, for which Kevin was grateful. He was inclined to agree with Don on that respect; Tony Hill did not seem to react like 'normal' people did. The three lapsed into silence again and all stood once they drained their drinks.
"I should get home," Kevin said, waiting for Paula to get out of the booth. "Christine will be wondering where I am."
The other two detectives nodded and Kevin left the pub and went to his car. As he drove home he kept seeing Carol's face.
"We miss you, Carol," he said, looking at the road before him without really seeing. "It was bad enough when you were in Johannesburg but this... I'm not sure how we'll cope."
He ran his hand through his hair as he pulled into his driveway and took a deep breath. "I have to make sure that Christine doesn't see just how upset I am..." With those final words, he took a deep breath, hopped out of his car and walked determinedly to his front door.
Ros curled into herself as she lay on the sofa, trying to rest. She wasn't too hopeful though; her mind kept lapsing to Bradfield and what her team would be feeling. As much as she had tried to keep her distance from her fellow police officers, she had become friendly with quite a few. Paula, her protégé; Don, her protector; Kevin, her sparring partner and John Brandon, her boss and friend. She sighed and turned so she was lying on her back; she had always wanted to work in the security services and had signed up the instant she had received her O-level results. She had scored the highest in her class, one of the highest in the country and she was welcomed into MI6 with open arms. This was followed by intensive mental and physical training, and she had emerged as the cunning and manipulative woman who would go to any lengths necessary to get a result in an operation she was today.
She closed her eyes, willing sleep to overcome her; the operation in Bradfield had almost been her undoing. She, as Carol Jordan, had become far too attached to a single person and it had been decided that she could no longer be objective and she was pulled from the operation. If someone else had replaced her, she didn't know, but she somehow doubted it. Screaming from the other room brought Ros out of the past and she sprinted to Adam's bedroom. He was thrashing in the bed, becoming tangled in the covers and he struck out when she placed a hand on his shoulder. She was forced to duck as his hand flew over her head, narrowly avoiding contact.
"Adam!" she said firmly, leaning over and pinning his hands down with her own. "Adam!"
He sat up so sharply that he knocked her off balance and she fell backward onto the bed "Wes," he said desperately, leaning forward and gripping the front of her nightgown. "Where is he?"
"He's in his bedroom," Ros answered calmly as she righted herself and began prising away his fingers. "It was just a dream."
"Just a dream," he echoed softly. "Just a... Ros, I'm so sorry. I..."
He let go of her abruptly and she fell backward slightly. "There's nothing to be sorry for," she said, giving him a rare, true smile. She swung her legs around and stood. "Can I get you anything? A glass of water?"
"No," Adam answered. "I'm fine."
Ros raised a sceptical eyebrow but nodded. "Okay." She glanced down at her watch. "It's four thirty. I'll wake you in an hour."
Adam rolled over and Ros watched him until his breathing steadied before leaving the room. There was no point, her going back to sleep, so she sat down and turned on the television with the volume down low. She flicked through the channels.
Rising oil prices; global warming; terrorist attacks...
Thoroughly depressed, she turned off the TV and threw the remote onto the coffee table. Adam's dream had shaken her somewhat; she was used to him being in such control, to see him sobbing like a child was more than disconcerting. His dream was obviously about Wes and Ros thanked god, not the first time, that she had no children. She couldn't imagine the terror Adam felt at the slightest indication his son was in danger. It was too horrible to think about. A noise caught her attention and she sat up to find Jenny standing at the opposite side of the room.
She was a pretty girl, Ros realised, but 'girl' was the operative word.
"Can I help you?" Ros asked in a far more gentle voice than usual; she had no wish to alienate Jenny.
"You work with Adam, don't you?" Jenny said, completely ignoring Ros's question.
"Yes," Ros answered, an icy tone entering her speech. She did not like the way she was being spoken to.
"Adam said you were good."
"Did he? How kind."
Jenny glared at her as she sat up properly. Ros ran a hand through her blonde hair, smoothing it down.
"Are you?" Jenny said coldly.
"Are you good?"
Ros raised her eyebrows. "Oh, I'm very good," she answered in amusement. "Very, very good."
Ros laughed shortly. "You find in this line of work that confidence is necessary. If that continues into arrogance then so be it."
Jenny's eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to speak but Ros cut her off.
"Adam's dreams," she said, waving in the direction of her colleague's room. "Are they always like that?"
"You mean, does he thrash and scream every night?"
"Yes," Jenny said shortly. "For as long as I've been here."
"I see," Ros said thoughtfully. "Thank you."
Jenny glared at her a moment longer before going back to her bedroom. Ros snorted under her breath and rested her back against the armrest of the sofa, the blanket over her legs. Her shoulder throbbed from where the bullet had grazed and she looked down to find that blood had begun to soak through the bandage.
"Shit," she muttered under her breath.
With difficulty she began to unravel the bandage, wincing at the pain it induced.
"You need to wash that again before we go," said a familiar voice.
Ros didn't look up as she answered, instead rolling the blood-stained bandage into a ball. "Ten points to Adam," she said sarcastically. "For pointing out the obvious."
Adam laughed as he crossed the room and stood before her and she returned his smile as she raised her head.
"What's the time?" she asked.
He glanced at his watch. "Five fifteen."
Ros held out her hand and he pulled her up. She could see the muscles in his forearms tense, evidence of the intensive training he'd been though; the same as herself.
"Give me half-an-hour," she said, letting go of his hand.
Adam nodded and she went quickly to the bathroom. He heard the sound of a tap running and went into his own bedroom, taking out a simple suit which would suffice for most situations. It wasn't too expensive or inexpensive to stand out in a crowd. As he dressed, he thought about Ros. Overnight she had almost completely returned to her usual self; the seeming grief of losing 'Carol Jordan' behind her. He had overheard her conversation with Jenny, where she had displayed her trademark sarcasm. He shook himself from his thoughts and concentrated on buttoning his shirt and smoothing out the creases in his trousers.
Finally satisfied with his appearance, he went back into the living room to find Ros leaning against the kitchen bench sipping a cup of coffee. She handed him a mug which he took gratefully. Ros had opted for her usual professional appearance, with the cliché black overcoat she was especially fond of.
"Shall we?" she said, rinsing out her mug in the sink.
Adam followed her out of his apartment and together they walked down to the car. They both stopped in their tracks. The car had been completely totalled with all its windows smashed and body dented.
"Shit," Ros said, withdrawing her phone as she ran to the car. She dialled a number and Adam was able to hear one side of the conversation.
"Harry, it's Ros."
"My car. It's been completely ruined."
"I was staying at Adam's after the incident at my house."
"Yes, send the replacement car now. And perhaps some protection for Wes?"
Ros hung up the phone and placed it back in her pocket. She sighed as she turned around to face Adam.
"A car will be here in five minutes; someone to keep an eye on Wes and Jenny will be here in three."
She rubbed her temples; this was not shaping up to be a good day.
Author's notes: A typically long chapter which I hoped you enjoyed reading. Updates will be slow-ish on all my stories at the moment due to the lovely state of panic I am in due to the fact that exams are looming ever closer. That said, please review so I have lots of incentive to continue.
I'm not sure about the pairing for this one so ideas would be lovely.
Do you want Tony/Ros (formerly Carol) or Adam/Ros (in dedication to Season 7)? I'll see if I can accommodate whatever the majority is.